As the risk of pill intolerance increases over time, it is not uncommon for women to change contraceptives as they approach menopause.
In women over 40 and who have no contraindications, the pill can be dispensed up to the age of 50. It has the advantage of treating the very annoying disorders of perimenopause and protects women from hormonal fluctuations: disorderly periods, hot flashes, the tension in the breasts, etc. This contraceptive method can help to manage this very uncomfortable period well while waiting to eventually switch to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Eliminate the pill to reduce the risk of disease
However, with age, the risk of thrombosis (clot in an artery) and cardiovascular disease increases. Also, when you have a family history, when you are overweight with high blood pressure, the gynecologist prefers to suppress the pill, as it may increase the chances of having a myocardial infarction or stroke.
Beware of 3rd and 4th generation pills
At the end of 2012, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) advised users of estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives to prefer 1st and 2nd generation pills.
In fact, 3rd and 4th generation contraceptives, containing desogestrel, gestodene, or norgestimate) expose women to an increased risk of venous thromboembolism compared to 1st or 2nd generation pills containing less than 50 μg of Ethinyl- estradiol.
Pill and cancer
According to a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), made public in 2005, taking the contraceptive pill very slightly increases the risk of breast cancer.
However, ten years after stopping the pill completely, the risk again becomes equivalent to that which threatens women who have never taken this oral contraceptive. Conversely, the pill reduces the risk of developing ovarian cancer as well as that of the endometrium.
Opt for local protection
Rather than running the slightest danger to your health, it is better to turn to other contraceptive methods. After 45 years, the IUD ranks second among contraceptive methods, with 38.2% of users against 38.9% for the pill (INPES health barometer, published in 2005).
But you can also turn to local contraceptives sold in pharmacies. They contain chemicals that immobilize sperm, preventing them from making their way to the cervix. Admittedly, their effectiveness is not optimal, but, after 45 years, the risk of pregnancy is much less important, and they do not present any contraindication.
They can also act as a lubricant and facilitate sex in case of vaginal dryness. Finally, you should know that after each report you must wash with a specific product. These contraceptives available without a medical prescription are not reimbursed by health insurance.
Different forms of local contraceptives
You have the choice between:
- Spermicides. They exist in gel or cream. Introduced deep into the vagina before intercourse, they dissolve and disperse. Protection is immediate and lasts ten hours.
- The contraceptive egg. You should place the egg in the back of the vagina while lying down and wait at least five minutes for it to dissolve well. Its protection then lasts four hours.
- The contraceptive vaginal sponge. This is a foam cylinder soaked in a spermicidal product that should be placed deep in the vagina. Its action is immediate and then lasts twenty-four hours. To be effective, it should not be removed for two hours after intercourse.